Division, conflict and anxiety.
I think it fair to say that many people worldwide have found the past 12 months to be a year of great change, pain, sorrow and division. Nations around the world have faced momentous conflicts. Events such as the attempted coup in Turkey, the tragic situation in Aleppo, Britain voting to leave the EU and the US election have all taken centre stage worldwide. Even in peaceful and protected Australia, there seems to be a sense that the past cultural optimism is making way for bleak concerns about the future.
This feeling of lack of control, depression, anxiety can also impact on the children in our school community. A child’s apparent disconnect to news and current affairs does not mean that they are oblivious to what is going on around them and they may potentially be scared of what the future may hold. Parents need to be acutely aware of the concerns their child may be facing. Spend time talking with your child, perhaps prioritise using times such as traveling to sporting events, music or ballet classes and so on. Wisely deconstruct these world events for your children, allowing them to better understand the world around them. Remind them of God’s sovereignty in all things.
Pastoral care at William Carey is a time when staff are encouraged to develop personal relationships with students of sufficient depth to identify their personal, academic, social and spiritual needs and offer help, advice, encouragement and discipline as appropriate. It is a time where the events of the world can be discussed from a biblical worldview. Wellbeing tutor periods are a time when we address some of the harder questions in life i.e. where do I get my sense of self-worth, control, belonging, purpose, my sense of future and so on? It is true that we also look at goal setting, study skills, career planning and so on, however, it is primarily a time where we look at living in God’s world, God’s way, as his people. As you can see, the school is working in partnership with you on these matters of great concern.
As western society (and indeed our own government) continues to challenge Christianity, we as a school community need to stay firmly rooted in the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:15). Where the world faces division and conflict, we need to stay united and loving as a community (1 Peter 3:8). Where the world can feel hopeless, confused and anxious, we can hold to the hope of eternal life, and all of the blessings that entails (Hebrews 10:23).
Is your child addicted to gaming? Perhaps they are subject to the emotional, physical, intellectual, social or even sexual abuse of social media?
Once again, in order to support parents’ understand of and care for the children in our community, the school’s welfare team will be conducting a series of parent seminars. The first of these addresses the concerns of excessive screen time that all of us but, in particular, our children, engage in as a part of our normal day-to-day life. The effects of this digital technology and the exposure to an unprecedented amount of largely uncensored, often anonymous, media gives us cause to question the possibility of emotional, physical, intellectual, social or even sexual abuse that our children may be experiencing. Obviously, the long term effects of this exposure are unknown – but what can you do right now?
We will be showing the motion picture Screenagers that looks at the effects on teens who are struggling with phones, games and technology in general. This parent seminar, unlike others we have run, welcomes you to bring your children. As always, your neighbours and friends are also welcome. The movie will be shown on Monday 6th March in R Block. We will begin the viewing at 7:00 pm and the movie will conclude by 8:30 pm. There is no cost to attend as the school has decided that such an important topic is of sufficient concern for all of us that the leasing/screening costs will be covered by the school. For previews of this movie, click here. I’m looking forward to welcoming you and meeting with you as you attend this very important night.
In His service,
Deputy Principal Welfare.
(On behalf of the High School Deputies)